Iraq: Turkey makes a move

Diving right in.

Turkey’s efforts around Iraq are multidimensional and aimed at more than merely suppressing the Kurdish separatist group PKK.  The activity that has been in the news in August, of course, is the bombing of Kurdish targets in northern Iraq.  Early in the August campaign, the Turks announced their decision to establish a more permanent military presence in northern Iraq, a move that will obviously affect strategic calculations in the region.

Baghdad has been largely silent about the incursions on Iraqi territory, although the Turkish ambassador was summoned last week to hear a complaint from the Iraqi foreign ministry.  Iraq’s position is difficult:  both Turkey and Iran are bound to be concerned about the Kurds’ use of northern Iraq as a redoubt for their different factional campaigns against Iraq’s neighbors.  Iran began attacking Kurdish targets across the border as early as July Continue reading “Iraq: Turkey makes a move”

Erdogan: Ottoman echoes growing louder

The very model of a modern caliph.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a comfortable majority in Turkey’s parliamentary election on 12 June – not enough to change the national constitution without the agreement of a parliamentary coalition, but a solid 325 or so out of 550 seats, and a higher margin of victory than AKP achieved in 2007.

Erdogan wasted no time projecting a decidedly Ottoman-sounding theme in his victory speech.  According to foreign media: Continue reading “Erdogan: Ottoman echoes growing louder”